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About volcanohunter

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan, former dancer, self-loathing (ex-)New Yorker
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  1. I am of the view that a company is entitled to terminate employees if their behavior damages the company's reputation, even if that behavior took place off site and off hours. I have no idea whether that sort of condition is written into NYCB contracts, but it's certainly been included in some of mine.
  2. Today for the first time I was able to see an Australian Ballet production at the cinema, namely, Ronald Hynd's The Merry Widow. I was thrilled when the credits came up and I saw that Amber Scott was playing Hanna Glawari, opposite Adam Bull's Danilo. The film is also notable for the performances of Stephen Heathcote as Baron Zeta (very moving) and David McAllister as Njegus (very funny). The picture was a little grainy and dark, but that's nearly always the case at the closest cinema. It may be better elsewhere. More screenings tonight and on Sunday, September 30, at Cineplexes in Canada. https://www.cineplex.com/Events/DanceSeries I gather it is going into British and Irish cinemas tomorrow. http://cinemalive.com/event/australian-ballet-merry-widow
  3. volcanohunter

    New York City Ballet Fall Season

    At least the tights are black.
  4. volcanohunter

    Bolshoi Gala at Aspendos (Turkey)

    Yes, the posted photos were grainy in the extreme. Very difficult to make out anything.
  5. volcanohunter

    Bolshoi Gala at Aspendos (Turkey)

    The Swan: Antonina Chapkina Don Quixote: Yulia Stepanova, Egor Gerashchenko et al. Sleeping Beauty: Ksenia Zhiganshina and Ruslan Skvortsov Le Corsaire: Daria Khokhlova and Artemy Belyakov Diana and Acteon: Maria Vinogradova and Igor Pugachev Coppelia: Margarita Shrainer and David Motta Soares Russian dance from Swan Lake: Anastasia Denisova Legend of Love: Olga Marchenkova There was also Instragram footage of Chopiniana with Zhiganshina and Skvortsov, Talisman with Vinogradova and Soares, Raymonda with Chapkina and Gerashchenko and Flames of Paris with Shrainer and Pugachev, which was exactly the program advertised. Shipulina did not travel to Turkey. She was at her husband's music festival in Siberia.
  6. Not to mention Villella. As co-creators of the art form, Italians have never been marginal figures in ballet.
  7. volcanohunter

    Nureyev Production and News

    Kirill Serebrennikov turned 49 today. He's been under house arrest for more than a year.
  8. Especially those dancers, who were treated like trading cards.
  9. My sympathies to Miss Waterbury. It is dificult to imagine how Ramasar and Catazaro could return from their suspensions once all the sordid details have been revealed in court. They would be a constant reminder of how "everything is (not) beautiful at the ballet."
  10. volcanohunter

    Yulia Stepanova

    The one Bolshoi "prima" I avoid at all costs is Anna Nikulina. I also tolerate Svetlana Zakharova only for the sake of her partner, and since he is usually Denis Rodkin, perhaps my least favorite dancer on the face of the earth, I don't see a lot of her either. But, a few months ago Yulia Stepanova became the first dancer in a long, long time I was sorely tempted to boo, following a grotesque performance of "Diamonds." It was almost too awful to describe. Up to that point I had been neutral about her, finding little charm, warmth, individuality or imagination in her dancing, but at least it wasn't offensive. Until she walked out all puffed up. She stood center stage lifted her leg à la seconde, and when her it reached full extension, she tilted her pelvis sideways and cranked it up some more. Full crotch view to everyone on the house left side (where I was sitting, unfortunately), while wearing a white tutu and tiara. It was revolting, but it was Makhar Vaziev's non-stop "leg higher!" mantra coming home to roost. She would lift her leg in attitude so high and so persistently, that her tutu would constantly flip upside down. She dragged behind the music to an intolerable degree, she couldn't do the changes in direction or negotiate the off-center positions, and the partnering was horribly sticky. Now Balanchine's partnering is intricate; the following day I watched David Motta Soares make a mess of the partnering in "Emeralds." About two-thirds of the way through the andante I simply couldn't watch anymore and closed my eyes. The Bolshoi at least has a fine orchestra, and I tried to console myself by listening to the music, but I was so angry at the profanation that I wanted to scream. I was tempted to blame Stepanova's partner, Artemy Belyakov, who was dancing the part for the first time, and indeed the disaster may have been his fault as well. Then the scherzo began, and the demi-soloist women did their thing, and Belyakov followed without apparent difficulty. But when Stepanova came out the conductor slowed way down, presumably because she couldn't manage the tempo. And even at the reduced speed, she couldn't keep up. Her footwork was messy and her elevation was low. Her finale was sluggish and monotonous. Every downbeat was emphasized with the same tiresome, chin-first flourish at the same overdone dynamic level. And yes, at the end she fell out of her fouettés. It was easily the worst "Diamonds" I have ever seen. And I wasn't alone in my reaction. I don't know who the woman sitting next to me was. I hadn't talked to her during the intermissions, though I noticed her lovely posture. At the end of the andante I sat with my arms folded firmly across my chest, not applauding. Out of the corner of my eye I could see that she was doing the same. Obviously I had been gritting my teeth and stewing, because when the scherzo began I let out a sizable exhalation. I could hear her exhaling at the same moment. When Stepanova and Belyakov emerged for their bows I stood up and left as quickly as I could, because I was severely tempted to voice my disapproval loudly. I am no fan of Olga Smirnova and have criticized her on the pages of this board for years, but seriously, I was never tempted to boo her "Diamonds." So I decided that I would only ever attend Stepanova's performances for the sake of her partners, and since she is, shall we say, a robust woman and difficult to partner, I hope for their sakes that I never see her again.
  11. The authors are not ballet specialists and may know little about the dancers in questions, so all they have to go on are Macaulay's reviews. This is precisely why I wish he wrote in a less personal and more journalistic way, because as it stands his highly subjective take becomes the "official record."
  12. volcanohunter

    Job posting for artistic director

    In Russia the term "glavnyi baletmeister" or "chief ballet master," or "ballet master in chief" is not at all uncommon, even if the more recent tendency is to use something along the lines of "artistic director of the ballet." At the Bolshoi Makhar Vaziev is "director of the ballet troupe" and Yuri Grigorovich is "ballet master" (not even "emeritus"). All members of the coaching and teaching staff, men and women, have the title "baletmeister-repetitor." There is no gender distinction, because "meister" is of foreign origin and there is no Russian equivalent of "mistress," so everyone gets the masculine title. But elsewhere it's different. At the Mikhailovsky, Mikhail Messerer is "artistic director of the ballet and ballet master in chief," and teaching/coaching staff are "repetiteurs." Other theaters will make a clear distinction between "ballet masters-stagers," meaning choreographers, and "pedagogues-repetiteurs."
  13. volcanohunter

    Blackface in the Bolshoi's La fille de pharaon

    What does "Cry" have to do with dark makeup or "sanitizing" the racism out of art? I'm not trying to be facetious. I really don't understand the point being made.
  14. For ABT? No, I wouldn't. I would pay up for NYCB. I have bought a number of the Vienna State Ballet's streams over the years, but I've found the quality of the stream left a lot to be desired. What was perfectly adequate for opera didn't work well enough for ballet. When the picture and sound aren't perfectly synchronized, or the stream freezes periodically or can't cope with the rapidity of the movement, there's little enjoyment in the viewing experience, mostly frustration. It also isn't the strongest or most stylistically unified troupe.